Quadriceps myopathy (QM) is a rare form of muscle disease characterized by pathological changes predominately localized to the quadriceps. Although numerous inheritance patterns have been implicated in QM, several QM patients harbor deletions in dystrophin. Two defined deletions predicted loss of functional spectrin-like repeats 17 and 18. Spectrin-like repeat 17 participates in actin-filament binding, and thus we hypothesized that disruption of a dystrophin-cytoplasmic actin interaction might be one of the mechanisms underlying QM. To test this hypothesis, we generated mice deficient for βcyto-actin in skeletal muscles (Actb-msKO). Actb-msKO mice presented with a progressive increase in the proportion of centrally nucleated fibers in the quadriceps, an approximately 50% decrease in dystrophin protein expression without alteration in transcript levels, deficits in repeated maximal treadmill tests, and heightened sensitivity to eccentric contractions. Collectively, these results suggest that perturbing a dystrophin- βcyto-actin linkage decreases dystrophin stability, which results in a QM, and implicates βcyto-actin as a possible candidate gene in QM pathology.
- Skeletal muscle